Erie, CO

Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance Development Our Approach Project Outcomes

Project Goal

WaterNow Alliance (WaterNow) and Western Resource Advocates (WRA) will support the Town of Erie in creating an amended water efficient landscape ordinance to reduce outdoor water demand in new development and redevelopment while enhancing community aesthetics and environmental values. This ordinance will ensure Erie’s water supply is more resilient in the face of drought, climate change, and population growth.

Our Approach

The Town of Erie, CO, is a mid-sized community of 37,000 located North of Denver and East of Boulder. Given the Town’s rapid population growth (currently 5.7% annually) and warming temperatures, the demand for water resources is escalating. To address this challenge, the Town’s 2021 Water Conservation Plan establishes a “10 in 10” goal to reduce overall water usage by 10% within ten years, to reach a target goal of 115 gallons per capita per day (gpcd).

The Town has identified the development and adoption of a comprehensive, Town-wide water efficient landscaping ordinance as a crucial strategy to meet this goal and to ensure sustainable development in the face of environmental challenges. While Erie is currently making considerable investments in replacing existing cool season turfgrass with waterwise and drought resistant landscaping alternatives, they have minimal code requirements related to water efficient landscaping. In addition to water efficiency, the Town is also motivated to establish landscaping standards that promote ecosystem diversity, enhance community members’ quality of life, and result in long-term cost savings. This is an opportune time for this project as the Town will be able to align their landscaping standards with new Colorado statute (SB24-005) that limits the installation of non-functional turf, artificial turf, and invasive plant species on non-residential properties.

WaterNow and WRA will work with Erie to develop an ordinance based on available examples and best practices from other communities, conduct outreach and gather feedback from key stakeholders and community members on the draft ordinance, and support Erie throughout the town council approval process.


Stay tuned! This project is currently underway.